Ice Cream Franchises

  • Rank
  • Company/Description/Initial Investment
# 29
Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins

Initial Investment: $90K - $396K

# 34
Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

Initial Investment: $356K - $1.8M

# 57
Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery

Initial Investment: $261K - $405K

# 77
Kona Ice

Kona Ice

Initial Investment: $114K - $129K

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# 89
Culver Franchising System Inc.

Culver Franchising System Inc.

Initial Investment: $1.4M - $3.7M

# 94
Rita's Italian Ice

Rita's Italian Ice

Initial Investment: $141K - $414K

# 122
Carvel

Carvel

Initial Investment: $250K - $383K

# 173
Yogurtland Franchising Inc.

Yogurtland Franchising Inc.

Initial Investment: $307K - $700K

# 215
Freddy's Frozen Custard LLC

Freddy's Frozen Custard LLC

Initial Investment: $596K - $1.1M

# 299
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

Initial Investment: $156K - $486K

# 312
Dippin' Dots Franchising LLC

Dippin' Dots Franchising LLC

Initial Investment: $112K - $377K

# 459
Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Co. Inc., The

Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Co. Inc., The

Initial Investment: $145K - $457K

# 492
Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Initial Investment: $262K - $1.3M

# 494
Red Mango - Yogurt Cafe & Juice Bar

Red Mango - Yogurt Cafe & Juice Bar

Initial Investment: $193K - $501K

NR
Andy's Frozen Custard

Andy's Frozen Custard

Initial Investment: $529K - $1.4M

NR
Camille's Ice Cream Bars

Camille's Ice Cream Bars

Initial Investment: $152K - $553

NR
Cream

Cream

Initial Investment: $191K - $535K

NR
Fro.Zen.Yo

Fro.Zen.Yo

Initial Investment: $355K - $588K

NR
Happy Joe's

Happy Joe's

Initial Investment: $310K - $1M

NR
Marble Slab Creamery

Marble Slab Creamery

Initial Investment: $238K - $372K

NR
Menchie's

Menchie's

Initial Investment: $218K - $385K

NR
Milani Gelateria

Milani Gelateria

Initial Investment: $176K - $243K

NR
Paciugo Gelato Caffe

Paciugo Gelato Caffe

Initial Investment: $84K - $137K

NR
Popbar

Popbar

Initial Investment: $233K - $464K

NR
Repicci's Italian Ice & Gelato

Repicci's Italian Ice & Gelato

Initial Investment: $152K - $176K

NR
Ritter's Frozen Custard

Ritter's Frozen Custard

Initial Investment: $365K - $1.1M

NR
Schwietert's Cones & Candy

Schwietert's Cones & Candy

Initial Investment: $565K - $888K

NR
Sloan's Ice Cream

Sloan's Ice Cream

Initial Investment: $588K - $897K

NR
Stricklands Frozen Custard

Stricklands Frozen Custard

Initial Investment: $189K - $315K

NR
Sub Zero Ice Cream

Sub Zero Ice Cream

Initial Investment: $160K - $381K

NR
Tasti D-Lite

Tasti D-Lite

Initial Investment: $234K - $423K

NR
Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream

Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream

Initial Investment: $132K - $144K

NR
Wanna Chill?

Wanna Chill?

Initial Investment: $51K - $186K

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Understanding the Ranking

There's a lot that goes into putting together the first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Entrepreneur's 37th annual Franchise 500®.

The process began in July 2015, when we asked franchisors to participate in our survey. Each submission was vetted before being entered for data analysis; 951 companies made the first cut. Of those, the top 500 became the Franchise 500® ranking, based on financial and statistical data from July 2013 through July 2015.

Only franchise companies that supply a full Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or Canadian Disclosure Document and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur can receive a listing. To be eligible for the Franchise 500®, a franchisor must have a minimum of 10 units, with at least one franchise located in the U.S. The company must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S., and it cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled. (The exception to these rules is Canada-based companies that are expanding only in Canada.)

All companies are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it's been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.

We do not measure subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style. The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500® formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.

Remember that the Franchise 500® is not intended to endorse, advertise or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a research tool you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing money in a franchise. Read the FDD and related materials carefully, get help from a franchise attorney and a CPA in reviewing any legal or financial documents, and talk to as many existing and former franchisees as possible and visit their outlets. The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework.

Research compiled by Tracy Stapp Herold and J.R. Jimenez with assistance from Hava Arieh, Rick Ignarra, Nicole Jurinek, Yvette Madrid, Jessica Nguyen and Giuseppe Ricapito; technical assistance from Angel Cool and Daniel Sibitzky; financial analysis by David R. Juedes, CPA; graphic design by Karen Meneghin.

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